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BCI springs into action, sends dress code resolution to all law schools: Prefer students to wear shirt & trousers

Shorts: A bit detracting, thinks BCI
Shorts: A bit detracting, thinks BCI

The Bar Council of India (BCI) noticed the “gradually detracting” (sic) “standard of dresses by the students of law all over the country” and recommended all law colleges to devise their own dress codes “befitting the profession”, but “it would be preferable” if a dress codes of white shirt with white, black or grey trousers was followed.

The BCI sent the note to all Indian law colleges last Thursday, 7 April 2016, although it had originally passed the resolution attached to the letter on 18 October 2015.

On Wednesday, 6 April, Legally India had first reported the controversy at NLSIU Bangalore over a professor chastising a student for wearing shorts to a lecture, with most mainstream media beginning to carry the news the day the BCI’s letter was dated.

The BCI’s Legal Education Committee (LEC), in its 18 October meeting, acted on a written request from the Madhya Pradesh bar council’s chairman Rajesh Pandey to prescribe a uniform dress code in all law colleges.

In its 7 April notice, which it sent to all law schools (see full letter below), the BCI stated:

it has come to the notice of the Council that all institutes teaching law, it has been found that the standard of dresses by the students of law all over the country is gradually detracting and which does not give impression of proper dress code discipline specially for the professional education.

Accordingly, the Committee recommends that the matter is left to each university/college to decide in respect of dress code what is feasible befitting the profession in this regard.

It would be preferable, if the college follow dress code white shirt with trouser (white/black/grey).

The BCI notice is dated a day after an NLSIU Bangalore class wore shorts to class, en masse, to stand up to NLSIU professor Dr V Nagaraj for his allegedly inappropriate remarks on Monday to a female student of the class, who had stepped into his lecture wearing shorts.

After mainstream media followed the story aggressively most of last week, Nagaraj and the students yesterday “amicably” resolved their differences, according to a press release from NLSIU’s vice-chancellor yesterday; however, Nagaraj told Legally India today that he had never apologised or expressed his regret to students over the issue.

We have reached out to BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra via email seeking comment on why the notice was sent to the law schools now, almost six months after the recommendation was resolved in the LEC meeting, and a day after the NLSIU shorts story broke.


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